PaRappa, a rapping dog, has the hots for a girl with a flower for a head called Sunny Funny. The trouble is, she’s already going out with someone - a rich, narcissistic jock called Joe Chin. Undeterred, PaRappa embarks on a musical quest with his friends PJ Berri and Katy Kat to win her affections.
We’re describing PaRappa the Rapper, one of the best rhythm-action games ever made, ported directly from PSone and squeezed into a tiny UMD. Sure, we’d have liked some new songs, but it’s been ages since we’ve played this and it’s just as compelling - and unforgivingly difficult - as it was in 1998.
It’s simple, really - your instructor, be it a kung-fu onion or a reggae-loving frog, gives you a series of instructions in the form of a rap, which you must copy exactly and in precise time with the music. Each line of the song slides across a bar at the top of the screen, represented by a face or shoulder button, and all you have to do is press the corresponding button as it appears on the screen. But that’s how amateurs play PaRappa. If you want to go the extra mile you can “freestyle” - throw in extra phrases and rhymes - to reach the “cool” rating and earn your teacher’s ultimate respect.